North Shore S24O (Sub-24 Hour Overnight) | Split Rock

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH +/- 5 miles on the Split Rock River Loop and around Split Rock State Park DIFFICULTY Easy to Moderate: elevation, roots, rocks, bugs at dawn and dusk. DATE  August 10, 2019 MAIN FEATURES  Panoramic overlooks of Lake Superior, the historic Split Rock Lighthouse and a never ending series of ups and downs through the forests of … Continue reading North Shore S24O (Sub-24 Hour Overnight) | Split Rock

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Backcountry Hygiene: How to Pee, Poop and Period Like a Pro!

Now that I've got you with that fantastic title, its time to talk facts about bodily functions on the trail and how you can keep yourself and the outdoors sparkling clean! I am asked about this topic often (usually in private messages, whispered conversations and in the cover of darkness), so I'm bringing it out … Continue reading Backcountry Hygiene: How to Pee, Poop and Period Like a Pro!

Tick Prevention on the Trail

I remember finding a wood tick stuck on the hairline of my neck over 30 years ago when I first moved to Minnesota.   I was a teenager from Southern California and didn't even know what a tick was!   Its the only time I've ever had an attached tick and can still feel it... Today's post … Continue reading Tick Prevention on the Trail

Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

Just back from a trip to Maplewood State Park!   We originally planned a large Women Who Hike Minnesota group event focusing on Leave No Trace Principles and cleaning up the trails with our reusable green "Dirt Bags" the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics generously provided.  As the landscape thaws each spring, there's trash … Continue reading Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

2018 Year in Review!

On January 1st 2017, I started this blog, as a place to write about my outdoor adventures, learning experiences, failures and encourage others to get outside at any skill level. That first year, I challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, “Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review!

Lightweight Backpacking Tips: 5 ways I reduced my pack weight – Including packing list

FUN NEWS! Our Superior hiking Trail adventure is being featured all week as a series on the BSA Instagram page. Volunteering with our son's Boy Scout Troop has provided me with opportunities that have ignited a passion for the outdoors and empowered me to pursue adventure both inside and outside of Scouting activities. I'm grateful … Continue reading Lightweight Backpacking Tips: 5 ways I reduced my pack weight – Including packing list

Making Your Own Dehydrated Backpacking Meals: Part 1

There are now more options than ever for pre-made dehydrated meals but making your own trail food doesn't have to be hard and you'll feel proud that you did it yourself! Its been a couple of weeks since my marathon food prep weekend for our thru hike of the Superior Hiking Trail and I'm excited to finally … Continue reading Making Your Own Dehydrated Backpacking Meals: Part 1

5 Gear Hacks and How to Lighten Your Load Without Breaking the Bank

Lately I have been doing less writing about the trail and more about skills I've learned as we prepare for our first thru hike. We are counting down the days until we hit the Superior Hiking Trail, so gear and food have been top of mind. Still staying as active as possible but MYOG (making … Continue reading 5 Gear Hacks and How to Lighten Your Load Without Breaking the Bank

Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

LAKE LOUISE STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 1.3 mile hiking club trail DIFFICULTY Easy and flat DATE  June 22, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Iowa River and Lake Louise-blood thirsty mosquitoes     I left work a little early on Friday to hike my 37th Minnesota Hiking Club trail and get a head start on meeting the Scouts at Forestville Mystery … Continue reading Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

Gear Review: Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Here it is!   My first shot at writing a dedicated gear review.   I have written quick reviews and recommendations embedded in trip reports that mostly express discovering nifty things or gear I found a good deal on…but wanted to challenge myself to focus on writing a review about ONE piece of gear.  So why not … Continue reading Gear Review: Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

How do you describe the beauty of a place where heaven and earth join seamlessly?   Or the mind trap of telling yourself over and over again that this massive body is not the ocean or an endless sea?  Or the magnetic-siren-pull of her waters that make you want to jump in and crash like … Continue reading Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

Backpacking on the North Shore – Part 1: Testing My New Pack and SHT Packing List!

I'm still mentally and spiritually unpacking my trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior.   It was so beautiful, I'm at a bit of a loss for words, but they will eventually come.  So, lucky for you, this will be a two part post! One of the first things I did when I decided … Continue reading Backpacking on the North Shore – Part 1: Testing My New Pack and SHT Packing List!

Making Your Own Ultralight Backpack!

Have you ever thought about making your own backpacking gear?  This week's post is about my experience sewing an ultralight backpack.   There are lots of reasons to do it yourself, including:  financial, weight savings, customization and just learning something new! If you have been reading in the last 6 months, you already know that … Continue reading Making Your Own Ultralight Backpack!

First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH N/A DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 20, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Remote camping On Friday, after a week of the “me too” movement, reading discouraging responses to the Boy Scout announcement allowing girls in the program, this Outside Magazine article about women alone in the woods, and years of ‘helpful' unsolicited … Continue reading First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

Packing.

I've done a packing Demo for my Scouts for the last 3 years and every year, it gets easier.  Next week I get to do a Backpacking Demo for a room full of regional Scout leaders!  (They pack the heaviest). Here's a 38 second packing video I made as I was getting my gear ready for … Continue reading Packing.

Isle Royale part 3: Prepping and Packing!

Here's the 3rd installment of our backpacking trip to Isle Royale National Park!  This post will focus a little more on planning and packing for our backpacking adventure! Know your facts about where you can and can't stay: Group camping:  Like most NPS Backpacking sites, there are regulations on how many people can stay in a … Continue reading Isle Royale part 3: Prepping and Packing!

Backpacking in Isle Royale National Park: Part 1

I’m pretty stoked to finally get to share about our backpacking trip last year to Isle Royale National Park! There a ton of resources out there to help you plan your trip, but my perspective is of a thrifty Scout Leader that went with a large group of youth backpacking for a week. The trip went … Continue reading Backpacking in Isle Royale National Park: Part 1